Leonard Fournette won a Super Bowl with Tom Brady last season. Could he now join Brady’s old team?
The New England Patriots are “lurking” as potential suitors for the free agent running back, according to a report Tuesday from Albert Breer of The MMQB. Fournette also is receiving interest from the Seattle Seahawks and his current team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, per Breer’s report.
Fournette had a relatively quiet first season in Tampa Bay (367 yards, 3.8 yards per carry, six touchdowns in 13 games) but surged in the playoffs, racking up 300 rushing yards and four total touchdowns in four postseason contests.
“Playoff Lenny” finished with 16 carries for 89 yards and a score and four catches on four targets for 46 yards as the Bucs blew out the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV.
The Patriots still have a need for a running back who can catch passes after Monday’s free agent spending spree, and while Fournette isn’t a third-down back, he has been a productive receiver in his career, tallying 76 receptions for 522 yards for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2019. That was the high-water mark for the 2017 fourth overall pick, who caught 36, 22 and 36 balls in his other three pro seasons.
Despite having decent depth at the position with lead backs Damien Harris and Sony Michel, versatile special teamer Brandon Bolden and 2020 rookie J.J. Taylor, New England reportedly has actively targeted running backs since the NFL’s legal tampering period opened Monday.
Top Patriots pass-catching back James White and the multitalented Rex Burkhead are unrestricted free agents. Brady’s Buccaneers are a potential landing spot for White.
NFL Media’s Mike Giardi reported the Patriots contacted “two of the bigger-name backs” in free agency but did not land either.